What if I’ve never played the ukulele before?
Welcome! MountainUke is a great place to pick up a ukulele for the first time. Our Jump Start is designed to help newbies get started, joined by experienced players who will help you keep strumming. Sing and Strum Circle is for all. Leaders organize their sessions in ways that bring everyone in. We’re proud that MountainUke is open and welcoming to all.
Pop-up sessions offered by participants and instructors can focus on whatever topics you desire.
What if I’m a ukulele expert?
MountainUke will be the perfect spot to hone your skills. Shana’s Expanding Horizons session will help you develop your understanding of music theory and playing techniques connected to the songs played in other sessions, while Danno’s Play Without Thinking clinics will help you zero in on specific skills that you can improve. Afternoon sessions in From Journal to Song, Songs in Other Languages, Hawaiian Songs and Fast Forward to the 1920s, will enable you to broaden your repertoire while expanding your knowledge of chords and playing techniques. You’ll have chances to write your own music, practice leading songs, and plenty of time to hang out and jam with other players.
Do I have to attend every session?
Nope. Not even close. This is your summer vacation, after all, which means that YOU GET TO CHOOSE. If you want to participate in every session, great! If you decide one afternoon that you’d rather head out for a hike, that’s great too! We’ve structured our classes so it’s easy to drop in and drop out without feeling like you’re missing out.
I can only come for a few days. Is that a problem?
Nope. See above. We’re happy to have you join us for as long as you’re able—whether that’s a few days at the beginning, a few days at the end, or a chunk in the middle. Only able to come up for a day and a night? No worries – you’ll still have a blast and get a lot out of the experience.
What do I need to bring?
The one thing you definitely need is a ukulele (though we will have some loaners on hand and there is an excellent music store nearby in North Conway). You should also bring:
• a music stand, a tuner and a pencil
• if you already have the workshop binder from a previous summer, ANNUAL UKULELE FESTIVAL: THE All-TIME GREATEST HITS.
Other items that some participants say have come in handy include
• iPad if you’re tech savvy (we will also make a PDF of all music available to you)
Participants staying at World Fellowship also get to enjoy all of the activities available on the 455-acre site, so be sure to bring a swimsuit, hiking shoes, a good book to read, and your favorite hands-on hobbies (knitting, painting, drawing, whittling, scrimshaw – you get the idea).
Where will I stay?
MountainUke takes place at World Fellowship Center at the foot of Mount Chocorua in Conway, New Hampshire, a retreat and conference center dedicated to social justice located on 455 wooded acres. WFC offers a full family-camp experience with all meals included, guided bike rides and hikes, art activities, yoga and body movement classes, nearby swimming and boating, and easy access to all that the White Mountains have to offer.
You can opt to stay in a room in Lloyd Lodge (the main lodge), one of WFC’s nearby buildings, or at their campsite. Different rates apply.
I have small children. How can I participate?
World Fellowship Center offers a free children’s program for children ages 3-9 each morning from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, which means you can drop them off for a morning of supervised fun while you uke out to your heart’s content. (Or you can sneak off and go for a swim. Or take a nap. We won’t tell.)
WFC also provides a children’s program for ages 5 – 12 from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.
Of course, children under 10 are welcome to participate in ukulele workshop activities.
What’s all this about social justice? I’m here about the ukes.
We love World Fellowship Center, and we think you will too. WFC is a secular, inclusive, and open community that has supported the pursuit of social justice since its founding in 1941. (The early history of WFC is fascinating, and you can read more about it here.) One of the great benefits of staying at WFC is participating in the evening programs, which feature speakers whose presentations inspire questioning and discussion and cover a broad range of topics, from the history of Haiti to the music of the labor movement to the challenges of political advocacy in the digital age. Folks who love MountainUke the most tend to also enjoy these conversations about social justice…but if you’re just about the ukes, that’s okay too.
What about the food?
Participants staying at World Fellowship have all three meals in the WFC dining room (MountainUke participants staying offsite have lunch included). WFC serves wholesome, mostly vegetarian, family-style meals using produce from their organic gardens and with homemade bread baked fresh each day.
On Sunday at 12:30 pm, WFC serves a traditional New England turkey dinner (with veggie alternative).
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